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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Monday, March 6, 2006

Moving from job to job no longer carries stigma

By Larry Ballard

So, you're looking for a new job, eh?

Don't deny it.

Salary.com reports that nearly seven in 10 American workers are trying for a new gig. More important, the percentage that describe themselves as "very likely" to leave has increased more than 50 percent since last year.

Think about it: That means more than half of the people in your immediate area of cubicles have not only decided it's time for a change, they've torn themselves away from Solataire.com long enough to put out a few feelers.

The survey shows that 80 percent of them have launched a job search in the past three months, which explains the cloud of resume dust over the office copy machine. Other details:

  • Vermont leads all states in the number of people who say they are satisfied with their jobs. Only 43 percent of Vermont residents have thrown their hats (the ones with ear flaps) back into the employment ring. It should be noted, however, that most workers in Vermont consider "unlimited free syrup" a fringe benefit.

  • At the other end of the spectrum is West Virginia, where 78 percent of workers say they want out.

    Dissatisfied employees cited a variety of reasons for their desire to leave. "Finally having a clean desk," was somewhere down the list.

    Most offered the standard bellyaches about pigheaded bosses and chicken-feed pay.

    But my new friend, Curtis Crawford, says the real reason is that job jumping has suddenly become acceptable.

    "Not only acceptable, but desirable," said Crawford, chief executive of XCEO, a Santa Clara, Calif., company that helps big companies identify workforce weaknesses.

    "It used to be called 'bouncing around,' and there was a stigma attached to it," Crawford said. "But in this highly competitive business world, sometimes you have to leave your company in order to get the skills you need."

    Crawford says ambitious employees "can't afford to stay in any one position longer than about two years, because they will need to do about 10 different jobs to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to be senior executive material."

    Crawford covers the topic in "Corporate Rise: The X Principles of Extreme Personal Leadership," which is available at www.corporaterise.com.

    Larry Ballard writes for the Des Moines Register.